Dec. 3, 2014
Another Unforgettable Iron Bowl
Wow, what a game! The Iron Bowl was a wild, wild game and those watching on TV without an attachment to either team must have thoroughly enjoyed the full 60 minutes. But, for those who were attached, it was nerve-racking to say the least.
During the fourth quarter, when things were really tight, a gentleman in the skybox next to ours wrote a note on a pad and put it up to the window separating our boxes. It said, “What would Coach Bryant and Coach Jordan be thinking about what the game of football has become?”
When Coach Bryant came to Alabama in 1958, the student body was around 9,000 and the stadium seated 35,000. Auburn was about the same. Football and our society in general have come a long way since that time. I think both coaches would be amused at where the game is today. But I think both would be very proud of the way their teams played in the game Saturday.
The game was played with great effort and courage on both sides, all night long. There were big plays made on both sides of the ball. Excellent coaching, innovative schemes and adjustments made to counter the other’s strategy made the game fun to watch. But, most of all, effort, courage, and players on both sides making plays from start to finish would have made them smile proudly.
We are certainly proud of our team and coaching staff for the great victory last Saturday and for winning the SEC Western Division championship. Their resiliency and ability to come from behind and do whatever it takes to win has made this team very special. We are honored to be playing in the SEC Championship Game this Saturday in Atlanta against an outstanding Missouri team.
We all know how hard it is to get to Atlanta to play in this game. Mizzou has made it to the SEC Championship Game two years in a row, and two out of the three years they have been in the conference. That doesn’t happen without being very consistent and very good. They are excellent on both sides of the ball and Coach Gary Pinkel has proven to be one of the top coaches in the country.
I look forward to seeing a lot of Crimson in the stands and hearing “Roll Tide” throughout the city. Thank you for your great support whenever we play. I continue to be amazed by the number of Alabama fans that come to our hotels and line up to meet our team when we arrive at stadiums around the country. It means so much to our players and coaches, which is why we all consider you a vital part of our team. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta this Saturday.
Check Out the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta
Those of you planning to make the trip to Atlanta this week should make an effort to visit the College Football Hall of Fame. The new facility opened in August, and it is an amazing collection of memorabilia and exhibits that you can spend hours enjoying.
It employs the latest technology in telling the rich history of the game, and it is geared to fans of all ages and all levels, but you will be impressed with how they have figured out how to make fans of every university feel special. Located just a five-minute walk from the Georgia Dome, the Hall of Fame creates a connective personal experience via interactive videos and games, selfies with digital face paint, a huge array of screens and a field for activities and events.
One of the most impressive features of the new Hall of Fame is the room where the actual Hall of Famers are honored. Instead of using traditional plaques, touchscreen media content bring the stars of the past to life. A walk through the entire Hall of Fame takes a couple of hours, but time definitely flies. It is entertaining and engaging throughout, in addition to being a great educational tool about the sport and its importance in American life.
SEC Legend Bobby Humphrey
We are pleased to announce that Bobby Humphrey has been selected as the University of Alabama’s Living Legend this year. Bobby, who wore the Crimson and White from 1985-88, will be recognized with other legendary SEC players and coaches by the SEC at a banquet in Atlanta on Friday night, then will be introduced during Saturday’s game. A two-time All-America selection, Bobby was Alabama’s Offensive Player of the Decade of the 1980s, was Most Valuable Player of the 1986 Sun Bowl win over Washington, and set the Crimson Tide’s all-time single-season rushing mark in 1986 with 1,471 yards. That record stood for 23 years until Mark Ingram broke it in 2009. The UPI’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1987, he finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season as a junior.
Bobby is our 21st SEC Football Legend, adding his name to an amazing list of former Crimson Tide greats. That list is like a “Who’s Who” of Alabama football: Lee Roy Jordan(1994), Harry Gilmer (1995), Billy Neighbors (1996), John Hannah (1997), Holt Rast (1998), Johnny Musso (1999), Dwight Stephenson (2000), Joe Namath (2001), Vaughn Mancha (2002), Jeremiah Castille (2003), Bob Baumhower (2004), Cornelius Bennett (2005), Steve Sloan (2006), Ken Stabler (2007), Bart Starr (2008), Antonio Langham (2009), Cornelius Griffin (2010), Dennis Homan (2011), Paul Crane (2012) and Marty Lyons (2013).
Other legends to be honored this weekend include: Jerry Lamb (Arkansas, 1962-64); Carnell Williams (Auburn, 2001-04); Lito Sheppard (Florida, 1999-2001); John Little (Georgia, 1983-86); Derek Abney (Kentucky, 2000-03); Doug Moreau (LSU, 1963-65); Stan Hindman (Ole Miss, 1963-65); Jack Cristil (Mississippi State, 1953-2011); Kellen Winslow (Missouri, 1976-78); Sheldon Brown (South Carolina, 1998-2001); Todd Kelly (Tennessee, 1989-92); Jacob Green (Texas A&M, 1976-79); and Jonathan Goff (Vanderbilt, 2004-07).
Congratulations, Bobby! We’re proud of what you did while you were at Alabama and of the great things you have done ever since!
Fall Sports Updates
• Coach Ed Allen’s VOLLEYBALL team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament and opens play on Thursday against Samford in Tallahassee, Florida. The Crimson Tide set a single-season record for victories by taking wins at Missouri (recap here) last Wednesday and against Tennessee (recap here) on Sunday. At 25-6 on the year and 13-5 in SEC action, our team won nine of its final 11 regular-season matches. The winner of our match with Samford will take on the winner of the match between Florida State and Jacksonville in the regional championship on Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. If you are near Tallahassee, I encourage you to lend your vocal support to Coach Allen and our team.
Congratulations to two Crimson Tide standouts who earned All-SEC honors! Sophomore Krystal Rivers and freshman Kat Hutson represented Alabama on the All-SEC Team, marking the first time the Tide has had multiple honorees on the all-conference team since 2007. This is Krystal’s second career All-SEC honor, as she led the conference in kills (285) and points (320.5) in conference matches this season. She was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week three times. Kat was named to the All-SEC Team and the All-Freshman Team, marking the second straight season that an Alabama freshman has made both teams after Rivers did so in 2013.
• Our WOMEN’S BASKETBALL team defeated Alabama A&M (recap here) in Foster Auditorium last Wednesday, lost a tough road game at Quinnipiac (recap here) in Connecticut on Sunday, then returned home to knock off South Carolina-Upstate (recap here) on Tuesday night in the starting game of an eight-game home stand. The Tide stands 6-3 heading into a week that features a Thursday night game with Tennessee-Martin followed by a Sunday afternoon clash with nationally-ranked Nebraska.
• Coach Anthony Grant’s MEN’S BASKETBALL team stands 5-1 after an impressive win over South Florida on Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum (recap here). Rodney Cooper led the Tide with 20 points, Levi Randolph scored 14 points with six rebounds and three steals. Guard Ricky Tarrant, making his first career start at Alabama, led the team with eight assists without a turnover and five steals, both season-highs, while scoring 17 points, making 9-of-10 shooting from the foul line. The Tide has a tough road game at traditional power Xavier this Saturday, Dec. 6. The Tide and Musketeers will tip off at 7 p.m. Central Time (8 p.m. Eastern) on the CBS Sports Network.
Here’s a summary of athletics events over the next several days (times listed are for the location of the event):
Thursday, December 4
|6 p.m. CT||Women’s Basketball||Tennessee-Martin||Foster Auditorium|
|4:30 p.m. ET||Volleyball||NCAA Tournament vs. Samford||Tallahassee, Fla.|
Friday, December 5
|7 p.m. ET||Volleyball||NCAA Tournament 2nd Round||Tallahassee, Fla.|
Saturday, December 6
|4 p.m. ET||Football||SEC Championship vs. Missouri||Atlanta, Ga.|
|7 p.m. CT||Men’s Basketball||at Xavier||Cincinnati, Ohio|
Sunday, December 7
|2 p.m. CT||Women’s Basketball||Nebraska||Foster Auditorium|
Catch Alabama Athletics on The SEC Network
Here’s a summary of our athletic events to be televised over the next week on The SEC Network and its platforms. Read this schedule closely as some events can be seen via SEC Network +, which is available online via ESPN3 here. If you can’t make it to our games in person, catch us on radio or TV.
(All times listed are Central Time)
Thursday, December 4
|6 p.m.||Women’s Basketball vs. Tennessee-Martin||SEC Network +|
Saturday, December 6
|9 p.m.||REPLAY: SEC Football Championship vs. Missouri||SEC Network|
Sunday, December 7
|2 a.m.||REPLAY: SEC Football Championship vs. Missouri||SEC Network|
|2 p.m.||Women’s Basketball vs. Nebraska||SEC Network +|
|7 p.m.||REPLAY: 1992 SEC Football Championship Game vs. Florida||SEC Network|
Monday, December 8
|11 a.m.||REPLAY: SEC Football Championship vs. Missouri||SEC Network|
Tuesday, December 9
|11 p.m.||REPLAY: SEC Football Championship vs. Missouri||SEC Network|
Tuesday, December 10
|7 a.m.||REPLAY: 2012 Football vs. Texas A&M||SEC Network|
|9 a.m.||REPLAY: 1982 Football vs. Auburn||SEC Network|
Our teams need your support, so please plan to attend to do your part! A rising tide lifts all boats and it’s up to all of us to Keep the Tide Rising!